Research and Development
R&D: Our backbone
Verdesian Life Sciences is a global leader in Nutrient Use Efficiency. We get there through our intense commitment to Research & Development (R&D) for nutrient use efficiency technologies that make farming more efficient, more sustainable, and more profitable.
This commitment to Research & Development ensures that Verdesian is consistently offering innovative, robust, and premium solutions to customers. These solutions are backed by industry-leading scientific studies and extensive laboratory, greenhouse, and field trial programs. Our R&D organization is both highly educated and highly experienced in the development and commercialization of nutrient use efficiency products. In our focus areas: biologicals, biostimulants, fertilizer enhancers, plant nutrients, as well as animal nutrition and aquaculture, we produce solutions to serve our customers globally through identifying, developing, registering, and commercializing the nutrient use efficiency R&D pipeline.
In addition, our Salt Lake City facility provides a focus on the development of biostimulant and nutritional products for row crops, specialty crops, animal, and aquaculture applications. In our Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology departments, we have been discovering modes of action of our products, focusing on stress physiology and expression of crop genetic potential, and subsequently maximizing crop yield and quality in harmony with the environment.
In the Animal Nutrition department, we concentrate on optimization of animal gut health and animal performance, and on improving aquaculture pond ecosystems to enhance production. Based on our innovative microbial fermentation, postbiotic and bioassay technology, we constantly develop new products to improve animal nutrition.
In our ISO 17025 accredited Analytical Quality Control department, we excel in performing quality control, EHS, regulatory, and R&D analysis to confirm quality of the products, enhance new product development, facilitate regulatory processes, and comply with environmental regulations. We support Analytical QC functions in other company locations. In a day-to-day operation we coordinate third party testing, perform 17 accredited analytical methods containing over 40 different analytes on 5-20 samples a day.
Dr. Robert Fraley: A Nutrient Use Efficiency giant
In February 2022, Dr. Robert Fraley joined the Verdesian Life Sciences board of directors.
“As an industry, we are constantly learning more about soil science, crop nutrition optimization, and sustainable food production, and Verdesian is leading the way.”
Fraley is the author of more than 100 publications and patent applications relating to technical advances in agricultural science. Fraley also led a team during his time at Monsanto that helped to develop the first genetically modified seed. His leadership there led to solutions centered on sustainable ag technologies around plant breeding, biotechnology, ag biologicals, ag microbials, precision agriculture and crop protection innovations. He earned the prestigious 2013 World Food Prize for breakthrough achievements in founding, and in 1999, President Clinton awarded him the National Medal of Technology.Learn More
Verdesian’s R&D organization has expert capabilities in the areas of:
- Formulation Chemistry and Biochemistry
- Plant Physiology and Biological Screening
- Soil Microbiology
- Molecular Biology
- Plant Pathology
- Plant Nutrition
- Field Agronomy
- Regulatory Affairs
- Animal Nutrition
Kuide Qin, Chief Science Officer
Dr. Kuide Qin leads R&D and new product development for nutrient use efficiency technologies to make farming more efficient, more sustainable and more profitable. Qin is responsible for providing technical and strategic directions to executive management team for R&D of product technologies in four platforms including bio-stimulants, fertilizer enhancers, micronutrients, and seed treatment Inoculants, as well as people leadership for staff from discovery research, IP development, field development to product positioning and commercialization support globally. Qin He is a member of the American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, and the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). He has also been serving for more than nine years on the International Standard Organization (ISO)’s Equipment for Crop Protection committee to help bring economic and business benefits to the growers in the U.S. and globally.
Prior to Verdesian, Qin held scientist and leadership roles at Dow AgroSciences, and at Bayer Crop Science for leading the efforts to develop and transfer technologies in agricultural chemicals and in spray application equipment from the lab to the field. His background also includes novel technology and IP assessment, product positioning and business development, initiating innovation programs and launching programs to improve return on R&D investment.
With comprehensive training background in soil science at NC State University, in executive leadership at the University of Notre Dame, and earning his PhD in chemical engineering at University of Florida, Qin is able to guide the Verdesian team to discover the best technology fit for Verdesian at the NUE space that eventually brings the maximum benefit to the growers.
Amy Burton, Senior Director of Product Development
Amy Burton came to Verdesian from Bayer CropScience, where she was a team lead working in Trait Validation with soybean. Prior to that, she was a post-doctoral plant physiologist with the USDA in Raleigh, NC, working on trait characterization and genetic mapping in soybean for multiple abiotic stresses, including salinity, aluminum and ozone. Burton earned her Ph.D. at Penn State in a root ecophysiology & plant nutrition lab group. In her Ph.D. research, she identified root traits to optimize resource acquisition in corn. She earned a Master’s degree in plant physiology of ornamental crops.
Mike Canady, Director of Agronomy, Specialty Crops
Mike Canady leads a team of technical development managers to manage and execute the field operations of new product development and launch. He is also responsible for creating and implementing a sustainable and effective training platform along with responsibilities for technical elements of marketing and regulatory documents.
Canady earned his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and his Master’s in Agronomy in Horticulture from Brigham Young University, as well as his Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of California, Davis.
Elizabeth Wozniak, Director of Biologicals R&D
For more than four decades, Elizabeth Wozniak has conducted research in the fields of plant and animal physiology, biochemistry, analytical chemistry and molecular biology. She joined Cytozyme Laboratories, Inc., in 1981 as a research scientist and quickly became the R&D Director just three years later. She has developed more than 100 formulations during her career.
Wozniak received a prestigious award from the Minister of Science in Poland for her research on plant adaptation to low temperature. In addition, she is one of the main contributors in the development of Biostimulant regulations and recognition through The Fertilizer Institute’s Biostimulant Council and Biostimulant Industry Workgroup.
Wozniak obtained her M.S. degree and Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Warsaw, Poland, and completed the UNESCO-sponsored International Training Course in molecular biology, biochemistry and biophysics.
Mike Zwingman, Director of Agronomy, Row Crops
Before his current role, Mike Zwingman was Technical Development Manager for Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming supporting Verdesian’s nutritional and plant health product lines.
Zwingman has 20 years of seed, ag retail, and agronomic experience in eastern Nebraska and is graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
What People Say About Us
“For the cost, I was impressed with the fall-apart application and still seeing positive results when we harvested. We will definitely be adding it to our crop nutrient program.”
“Reducing waste and giving me more time with FlexConnect puts more money in our pockets.”
Mote Farm Service, Union City, Indiana
“Thanks for creating such an effective micronutrient for our growers.”